Event Planning during the Covid-19 Era

...has been a challenge! After the first few weeks in quarantine during early spring, we managed to smooth out the logistics of working from home. We were up and running from our living room, taking calls, answering to emails, working tirelessly to postpone events planned on risky dates but also those later in the season. We were trying to juggle all the different approaches in a calm manner, early on accepting that most events would be planned over and over again before they could actually be celebrated. I am very proud of my family and team, as we took on the stress of re-arranging and became very flexible in order for our clients to have the best possible event planning experiences during these unprecedented times.

For those who dreamed of a wedding in summer 2020, their special days became a reality. Following official government guidelines, we created intimate occasions that nobody expected would be so magical, often with bespoke details that would not have been under normal circumstances :)

We must focus on beauty and creativity during these challenging times. Work with friends, support the arts, design bespoke pieces for small get togethers, that will then last for a lifetime... For those of you who went through with or postponed your events and didn’t cancel, thank you. We are forever grateful for your support and trust. Our family business would not be here without you🧡

Sustainability at MELI

At MELI we believe that measures to protect the environment can be taken in all industries and businesses, no matter the size, as change is a collective process. Sometimes, this costs a little extra for small scale, independent, family businesses like ours – but we are proud of our moves as we respect our surroundings. Below are a few environmentally friendly practices that we’ve adopted at MELI. We appreciate your interest and invite you to support our effort!

◦ In our office, we only print when absolutely necessary, have invested in a printer that can print sheets on both sides, and we recycle.
◦ We invest in high quality linens for our event rental equipment (napkins and tablecloths are all 100% linen). Although these fabrics have a very high cost for us and we don’t see quick profit after our investment, we manage to reuse them for numerous events before withdrawing them from our collection, as they withstand time and use due to their quality. This can be more profitable for our business long term, as we don’t need to constantly replace the fabrics, and we also provide luxury to our clients at a fraction of the real cost.
◦ We reuse plastic packaging materials over and over again, and have stopped their use wherever it can be avoided. We are in the process of creating fabric packaging for all our equipment – a costly investment, which we decided is worth it.
◦ When we buy new event rental equipment, we prefer items made from recycled materials that have been handmade by artisans we have direct contact with. For example, our new glasses are all hand-blown out of recycled glass, using traditional Moroccan techniques. Their designs carry the Moroccan heritage, but with a modern twist.
◦ We also prefer equipment that is made with natural processes, using the least possible chemical ingredients – such as our glass plates which have the natural glass color and are made of recycled glass.
◦ Whenever possible, we prefer to pay a little extra and give jobs to people within our country, especially those who revive traditional techniques that have eclipsed in our time. We also prefer working within Greece as we reduce our carbon footstep and push for growth in the country, which we love so deeply. An example of this is our new collection of hand-tie-died with natural colors, eco-cotton napkins, made by an artist we collaborate with in the suburbs of Athens. We are proud to say our production process is slow, ethical and considered.
◦ We also like to buy vintage, for our events, interior projects & store. There is character in age, and the act of reusing and repurposing items with history is unique in itself.
◦ When we design events, we not only take into consideration, but we are inspired by the surrounding environment and try to accentuate its beautiful characteristics with our style, rather than build over them. We have been doing this since the beginning of our business, as it is truly part of our style - but it is also cost effective for our clients, and a sustainable move as we avoid the production of custom décor that might never be reused.
◦ When we do however create custom designs, we try to carry out ideas that can be reused – which means that we produce timeless designs for either high-end, chic weddings & events or classy interiors. Even though we reuse our equipment, we have never carried out identical events in all our years of work in the field.
◦ When ordering products for our store, we make sure we know their origin, guarantee their high quality and choose items that are timelessly stylish, not just trendy. This is why most of our clients still have outdoors bamboo furniture they bought from us in the mid 70s!

The word “sustainable” is thrown around easily these days and often used in misleading ways. Don’t be confused – there is nothing sustainable about huge sales, large orders, and excessive consumption. We invite you to consider when you shop – where has the item originated from? Who made it, is it high quality so as to withstand time – is it timeless in its design? There is nothing “sustainable” in excessive consumption and how it impacts the environment. Same goes for setting up events – there is nothing classy in simply overdoing it. Setting up over the top and original events can be fun, but there are stylish and respectful ways to do it. That’s what we are here for! We prefer to carry out fewer events per year in order to focus, be inspired and make sure they are perfect in all aspects, respecting the surrounding environment, our clients, and our work.

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